Ben Hartsock, Steve Maneri signed by Patriots


Free agent tight end Ben Hartsock was a marquee name on Friday's edition of the Around The League Podcast, featuring an interview with Pro Football Focus' Pete Damilatis.

A blocking specialist, Hartsock surprisingly graded out as one of the NFL's top tight ends in PFF's 2013 rankings.

Now he's a member of the New England Patriots, who added Hartsock and two other tight ends to the roster on Sunday.

The Pats also signed Steve Maneri and Terrence Miller, reports's Field Yates.

Hartsock caught a grand total of two passes in 43 games with the Panthers over the past three seasons; he's ideally a blocking complement to Rob Gronkowski in two-tight end sets.

Maneri has played 23 games with the Chiefs and Bears since entering the league in 2011. Like Hartsock, he's a blocking specialist.

Miller followed Gronkowski as the University of Arizona's tight end from 2009-13.

The Patriots clearly were unhappy with their depth behind Gronk, waiving two tight ends before adding three more. Of the players signed today, Hartsock is the most likely to make the 53-man roster.

The latest Around The League Podcast answers every question about preseason action that you were too afraid to ask.